This was my FIRST EVER buddy read with the fantabulously awesome Lily (The Novel Nerd)! Her review for this book can be found here: http://lilythenovelnerd.wordpress.com/2013/05/08/book-review-water-akasha-series-1-by-terra-harmony/
You should check it out, her blog and opinions are awesome! 🙂
“Saving the world is dirty work.”
Kaitlyn Alder is a free spirited girl who travels the globe and captures the world at the end of a camera lens. During a skiing accident where she is caught in an avalanche, she is rescued by a top secret ecological organization who will stop at nothing to preserve the Earth and her elements. Will Kaitlyn’s newly discovered magical powers be able to help her make a difference, not only with the organization, but the world? Or is just a liability…with dangerous assets? This is the first book in the Akasha series, and at the time I downloaded it, it was free on Amazon and Barnes & Noble. (So if you are interested in it, definitely go check it out soon!)
I had a real abrupt change of heart while reading this book. There were a lot of good things that I enjoyed, and also a lot of things that really bothered me. Unfortunately, the things that bothered me won out in the end, hence the lower rating.
Okay, first I’ll talk for a moment about the aspects of the book that I liked. I have to admit, when I first started reading it, and really throughout the first hundred pages or so, I really found myself enjoying it! The story is very original and unique. I liked the idea of the protagonist, Kaitlyn, having elemental powers that could be used to help the environment. Additionally, without control, she can also cause destruction and chaos. I think that speaks a lot about Nature in general, don’t you think? You can have a gentle rainstorm that can help ecological growth, but you could also have a hurricane which can wreak havoc on people and the environment. Either way, Nature can work in mysterious ways. Kaitlyn’s powers are described in this way as well, which made for an interesting story.
I liked her as a character. I liked her sassiness and that she wasn’t afraid to speak her mind. I like that she had the conviction to sleep with her love interest and guardian, Micah, without the hundreds of obstacles that usually occur in young adult novels. No supernatural issue keeping them apart, no I-love-you-but-I-can’t-be-with-you crap. Nadda. Just a girl following her instincts and going after what she wants. I respect that greatly. I liked the idea of the ‘Gaia’ and there were a few other witchy type references that made me smile with happiness.
*sighs* Unfortunately, this is where the book started to go downhill for me. Although I liked some aspects of the organization Seven, for the most part they came across as chauvinistic, controlling, arrogant, and to be quite frank…just downright mean! They basically kidnap Kaitlyn and force her to do all these different experiments to test/control her powers, and basically they whole time it felt as if she was being held hostage by a bunch of fascist Nazis! Granted, they are tree-hugging Nazi’s but still! One of the so called experiments involved Micha, the love interest trying to rape her while another member, Shawn, stood nearby and tried to block her powers. Um. What? Are you serious right now? Sex should never be used in this type of way! It’s downright diabolical! Literally right after that I started to detest Micha. And you know what? Kaitlyn ends up forgiving him. I kid you not.
While I love the whole ‘using powers to save the Earth’ theme, at points toward the middle and end I felt like I was reading a science textbook. It was boring, flat, and a bit preachy.
Okay, and the main reason why this book ended up with two stars was that even after the deplorable scene with Micah, Shawn ends up kidnapping Kaitlyn and rapes her repeatedly. In detail. Vaginally and anally. I’m sorry, but did this really need to be in this book? I’m not trying to sound squeamish, I can handle a lot of stuff, but this part of the book really made me sick to my stomach. I know it was trying to show how evil and damaged Shawn was, but couldn’t this have been done in a less gruesome way? This just completely made me not want to ever read more of this series. Ever. And the ending was, well, a bit of a twist, and if it wasn’t for the horrific scenes leading up to it I might have been a little more interested in continuing this series. But unfortunately, I was left with a rather unpleasant taste in my mouth when finishing this book.